Where is Gordion?
The ancient city of Gordion is located in the vicinity of Yassihuyuk town of capital Ankara. It is only one and a half hours away from Ankara. It is not located on the popular Turkey tour itineraries. However, there is a big interest among travelers to the ancient city of Gordion and the tomb of King Midas. A traveler makes three stops in Gordion. You visit the ancient city of Gordion and then continue to the Museum of Gordion where finds from the tomb of King Midas are exhibited. You can see the burial chamber of King Midas underneath the huge pile of earth across the Museum of Gordion. After conducting a comprehensive tour in the area, you can drive back to Ankara. If you have discovered Ankara, you can visit Eskisehir city which is approximately the same driving distance from Ankara to Gordion Ancient City.
Brief History of Gordion
Gordion ancient city was the capital of Phrygia. Yassihoyuk town stands in the area today but life began in the area in the early Bronze Age. Similar archaeological finds of Grodion are found in Troy on the west coast and Cilicia on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. That is showing us the big volume of trade in Anatolia thousands of years ago. The Early Iron Age finds show that Gordion started to house southeast European tribes. After the 10th Century BCE, the area was called Phrygia but devastated in the 7th Century BCE by Cimmerian attacks. That is when King Midas with donkey ears had lived. During his reign, he asked help from Persian Empire against the Cimmerians and believed to have committed suicide after losing the battle. The big tumulus of King Midas is just one of the hundreds of tumuli in the area. Phrygians cremated their deceased as well as burying them underneath big mounds of earth. The size of the mound shows the importance of the person buried underneath. Not all the tumuli have burial chambers underneath because people did grave digging in those ancient times as well. As a result, the burial chamber may not be underneath the man-made hill. Phrygia became a Persian state when Cyrus the Great conquered Lydia which is the name of the western part of Anatolia. Alexander the Great started the Hellenistic Era of Phrygian capital along with hundreds of other Anatolian cities. Phrygia became a part of Galatia after the death of Alexander the Great. Pergamon conquered the area after a century and they united with the Romans by the beginning of the 2nd Century BCE. Phrygia name survived until the Roman Empire fell in 1453.
Did Gordion Brought Unluck to Alexander The Great?
Father of Midas, Gordias was a poor farmer in northern Greece. While he was riding his ox cart, an eagle landed on his cart. As the animal traveled along with Gordias, he considered that as a sign. Gordias started to travel to be a king. Meanwhile, in Phrygia, people were desperately looking for a king. The oracle of their temple told them that the first man to arrive at the temple with a cart will be their king. Gordios arrived at the temple confirming the oracle and became the king of Phrygia. He tied up his cart to the temple and people believed that the person who untangles the knot will be the king of Asia. Alexander the Great knew about the myth. He tried a little but got frustrated as he took off his knife and cut the knot in 333 BCE. Ten years later, Alexander the Great passed away at a very young age which was interpreted as the curse of the Gordion knot.
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